Saturday 16 December 2017

New laws on oil bottles could lead vapers to the black market

Vapers face a price hike. Stock picture
Vapers face a price hike. Stock picture
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Smokers who use vaping devices could turn to the black market to buy nicotine oil in bulk as new EU-wide rules come into effect today, a leading retailer has warned.

Retailers can no longer sell nicotine oil or 'juice' in bottles larger than 10ml, while larger-sized tanks used in the devices are also banned in order to prevent children from accidentally ingesting nicotine.

But Alex Pescar, owner of the Ecirette Megastore on Talbot Street, Dublin, said the changes could send smokers to buy the larger 30ml bottles of oil from illicit suppliers because it is much cheaper to buy in bulk.

The changes that come into force today are being introduced as part of the new EU (Manufacture, Presentation and Sale of Tobacco and Related Products) Regulations 2016.

Mr Pescar said that, like cigarettes sold on the black market, there were no production standards and consumers had no idea of what they're ingesting.

"I welcome it (the new laws) from the point of view of safety and quality of liquids but that's all," he said.

"But I don't really agree with the volume of the liquid. There are customers who are using a 10ml bottle in a couple of hours."

Even moderate users could easily go through one 10ml bottle a week - which costs approximately €5.

Mr Pescar said this means they would have to pay more for a single bottle instead of buying a 30ml bottle at a cheaper price.

Dubliner Mark Furlong (23), who has never smoked but got into vaping to take part in 'cloud' or virtual smoke-blowing competitions, said the new rules would have a direct impact on him. He uses a large-capacity tank that will be banned under the new law.

"I won't be able to buy another one unless I get one second-hand off somebody else," he said. "I read online about someone who got a 10-year supply of juice and tanks because of this."

Irish Independent

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